Chore Board for Kids

Huzzah!  Remember my last post?  How I said I had three items on my Task List that I had begun to ignore, as they had been on there for so long?  Well, guess what?  I did one of them this week!  I was so thrilled with finally accomplishing it that I’m sharing it as my First Friday Find!  A while ago, I saw this idea for a chore board for kids presented in different ways on Pinterest, and I finally got around to completing my version!

Chore Board for Kids

Let me start by saying, I hesitate to give my children money for chores.  Both my husband and I try to instill in our children that they are not entitled to any money by helping around the home.  We want our children to know that some things get done simply out of respect for their living area and things.  So, making any sort of system that created an allowance based on chores was a hard sell for us.  However, I can understand how they might like opportunities to make money.  That is why I created a chore board for them that includes tasks above and beyond the other chores that are expected of them as part of our family.  As their part in sharing the load in our home, my two eldest are responsible for doing the following without rewards: clearing the table, sweeping under the table, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, cleaning up toys/books/clothes/crafts/etc, bringing laundry down, putting laundry away, and more.  As my boys grows older, their load of responsibilities will increase.  I may ask more or less of my children than most, I don’t know.  But, for now, this is working in our home.

With my daughters getting older though, their abilities to help around the home have increased.  As a result, our chore board for kids is FINALLY going to come to pass.  I have 8 clothespins on our chore board.  The current list of chores include: dusting upstairs ($.50), dusting downstairs ($.50), vacuuming upstairs ($1), vacuuming downstairs ($1), cleaning downstairs bathroom ($1), cleaning upstairs bathroom ($1), washing windows in our TV room ($1), and parent’s choice ($1).  I put cleaning specifications on the chore tags to avoid any shortcuts being taken.  I also noted that on “parent’s choice” it may involve more than one chore to earn $1.  This may not seem like much money, but, again, they have a responsibility to be a contributing part of our family first and foremost.

In an effort to keep some sort of order to this system, I have a few plans in mind.  First, they will need my approval of their work before they receive the money.  Second, I am going to ask that they write their name on the back of the paper so that I can keep track over a longer period of who is doing what in our home.  If it turns out that washing the windows is the coveted chore, I don’t want to find that one of my daughters is always snagging that chore first.  So, to be fair, they can’t do the same chore twice in a row.  Lastly, I plan to refill the money in the chart every two weeks.  This will slow down the rate at which they try to earn money and keep my husband and I from going broke.  I can see my second oldest dusting every single day, if it meant more money.  She actually enjoys that chore.

Chore Board for Kids WIP

As for the making of the chore board for kids, it was really quite simple.  I picked up a decorative piece of wood at Hobby Lobby and used some paint, clothespins, and tacky glue that I had from home and VOILA!  I wanted to come up with a catchy title at the top, as I still regretted not putting “Seeking Sole Mate” at the top of my Lost Socks craft.  So, while many other websites called their system “Work for Hire,” I settled on, “Earn more by doing a chore.”  I love how my eldest questioned where I got the line from, not believing that I was capable of such creativity.  I managed to paint the letters freehand with the printed version as my guide.  You can see by the picture that I had a change of heart during my creation from sizing down on WAY TOO big a font to switching out the word “make” for “earn.”

Chore Board for kids back

Once the craft itself was complete, I picked up Sawtooth Hangers from Hobby Lobby, snack size bags from Target, grabbed some small bills, and typed up the chores on card-stock paper for durability.  Once I finished it, I couldn’t wait to hang it in our laundry room/mudroom over their filing bin.  That hanging filing bin was another lifesaver in our home.  I was so sick of seeing the girls papers and random drawings on scrap papers, that I finally made them in charge of deciding what papers and drawings were worth keeping in their designated space.  That may sound heartless, but my second eldest is notorious for writing made-up song lyrics, menu items, directions for x-y-z, and more.  The clutter adds up fast.

2016-02-03 21.33.50

So, there you have it!  This month’s First Friday Find is a combination of finding a morsel of my mojo and sharing a crafty find I stumbled upon years ago, but only recently made a reality.  I know my kids are especially grateful that the chore board for kids is complete, and not just something I keep promising them will be implemented at an undetermined date.  Here’s to my hired help making my life a little easier.

Advertisements

Two Natural Remedies That Have Shocked Me

When I was 2, I nearly lost my life to the havoc wreaked on my body from a genetic blood disease.  While I was too young to remember the details, the results of that emergency situation were clear from my earliest memories.  I had a seven-inch scar that stretched across my stomach where my spleen was removed, and I took a teaspoon of penicillin twice a day to fight off infection until I was 12-years-old.  Additional antibiotics were given to me anytime I came down with a cold.  Western medicine has been a blessing in my life for as long as I can remember.  And its role in my life hardly stopped when I was twelve.  I firmly believe my two eldest, who were both preemies, would not be with us today if it were not for Western medicine.  I’m a staunch supporter of vaccines.  And, the surgeries that helped my daughter’s eyes function properly could not have been obtained through natural remedies.  I could go on with countless examples of how Western medicine afforded me a life I would not have had otherwise.  That being said, I am finding more and more that natural remedies have a place in achieving optimum health and well-being.  For January’s First Friday Find, I felt impressed to share the two natural remedies that have shocked me with their effectiveness in treating common discomforts.

Local honey for treating allergies

Thankfully, I have never suffered from allergies.  It wasn’t until I met my husband that I saw firsthand how debilitating it can be when trying to enjoy outdoor activities.  He had managed okay while he lived in Texas, but upon moving out to California he soon found himself loading up on Claritin-D or Zyrtec-D, whatever he could get his hands on first, to help him survive outdoors.  The allergy medicine helped enough to make a noticeable difference, but when we moved to Oregon, we had a new allergy beast on our hands.  Up here, he is allergic to Juniper trees.  Juniper trees that are EVERYWHERE!  We headed to the pharmacy again, only to find that Claritin-D and Zyrtec-D are not sold over the counter.  In Oregon, allergy medicine that has the decongestant portion (-D) requires a prescription.  That seemed like such a pain, so it was a blessing when we learned about how local honey can treat allergies.

Perhaps not a huge blessing for my husband, as he despises honey, but the effectiveness is worth it.  He takes a spoonful of raw local honey everyday and it eliminates his allergy symptoms.  When I did a Google search about local honey treating allergies, I was surprised to find the first two sites detailing how it is a myth.  If it were a myth, I assure you my husband would gladly omit local honey from his diet.  It may be a myth for others, but the fact in our home is that if he skips a few days of local honey, the runny nose and sneezing quickly return.  Plus, he is not our only guinea pig for this natural remedy.  The way we found out about it in the first place was because a friend of ours shared with us how effective it had been in his battle with allergies.  The key is that it HAS to be local.

The raw local honey we pick up is taken from a beehive colony about 25 miles away.  Where we live, there are a couple of vendors that claim to be selling local honey, but we quickly learned that they were considering anything in Oregon as local.  Many of these are taken from Willamette Valley, which is over 100 miles away from where we live.  Our alternate guinea pig friend was clear on how ineffective the less-than-local-honey was for his allergies.  So, if you are an allergy sufferer and have the ability to get your hands on truly local honey, then I suggest hunting down providers in your area.

Two Natural Remedies

Fresh pineapple juice as a cough suppressant

Again, I did a Google search, this time for fresh pineapple juice as a cough suppressant.  And, again, it came up as a myth.  Well, sort of myth.  One of the sources was Snopes.com, which said that a story, claiming pineapple juice was 500% more effective than cough syrup, was false.  According to Snopes, there seemed to be no concrete data supporting this claim.  However, it didn’t say that fresh pineapple juice was not effective, just that it was not verified to be 500% more effective than cough syrup.

While I also cannot provide research claiming it is 500% more effective than cough syrup, I can tell you that it works 100% with my husband.  The results of this natural remedy were amazing.  My husband only recently came across this tidbit and happened to have a cough at the time.  He had coughed all morning and decided to give it a go, as he was chopping up fresh pineapple for us to snack on later.  He took a swig of the leftover juice and his coughing subsided almost immediately.  He went for hours without a single cough or throat clearing.    I suppose you could say it was a fluke that his cough stopped, but the following day provided him with another opportunity to witness its capabilities as a cough suppressant.

He went to bed before me that following evening and I heard him repeatedly enduring coughing fits, as I sat downstairs.  I finally remembered how effective the fresh pineapple juice had been the previous day.  I went to our fridge, pulled out our container of freshly cut pineapple, and poured out the juice that had settled at the bottom.  It was probably no more than 5 teaspoons of juice that I collected.  I took it up to him, he chugged it back, and not a single cough was had for the rest of the night.  It was truly incredible.

As I mentioned, I am a huge supporter of Western medicine.  But, these two natural remedies that have shocked me have opened my mind to the benefits that can come from pure bits of nature.  There may not be concrete studies to support these natural remedies, but these remedies have results that are too tangible to deny in our home.  May the ease, affordability, and purity of these remedies find a place in your medicinal arsenal.

Oh, and Happy New Year!